Corporate Loyalty

Dilbert has such a knack for getting to the heart of things. When I saw this today I was reminded of my many years at AT&T and how service anniversaries (celebrated in 5 year increments) were sometimes celebrated. Mostly for me these were happy occasions. I got a tie tack (with AT&T logo) at 5 years, a key ring (with logo) at 10, a desk clock (with logo) at 15, a cordless phone (logo included) at 20 and 3 pieces of luggage (sans logo) at 25 - I got money when I retired at 27 years. Each of these occasions were accompanied by a celebration of sorts with cake and sometimes lunch.

So, for me, these celebrations were all a part of the larger issue of my loyalty to AT&T. Since I retired 8+ years ago this corporate loyalty seems to have been sacrificed on the altars of greed, outsourcing and indifference. Most of the folks that I worked with have either been layed off or now work for IBM - most lost their retirement benefits even though they had been there over 20 years. Corporations do not do many things that foster much loyalty anymore. I wonder where Corporate America will be when my children are ready to retire.


  1. I wonder too. The world I work in is so different than the one you did. I'm always waiting for layoffs and outsourcing. It could happen any day. The most loyal company may keep me for 6 years, but the longest I've been at any one job since college has been 3 years.

    Employees are just expenses these days, not people. I hate to sound so jaded, but it's the truth.

  2. I have a friend with Illinois Bell, now AT&T with over 25 years of service, and she says that when she retires, she expects absolutely nothing from the company. Her husband was "retired" five years ago and he was essentially sent home with his buyout money.

    My older relatives who worked there, who then immediately joined the Telephone Pioneers, were very attached to and proud of the company.

    In one generation, the change is complete.

  3. I almost didn't take early retirement - glad I did though ... things in Corporate America have greatly changed in the last 10 years.

  4. I'm glad you took an early retirement!

    I haven't been in the corporate world in years so it would be hard for me to go back, but I may have to.

    I worked for a ministry for 15 years and they had very few benefits other than health insurance, but it was worth it.

  5. I got laid off from my first job after 10 years (almost to the day) with the company.

    I was shocked by some of the responses I got while hitting the interview circuit. I thought for sure that 10 years with a company would show a bit of my character, that I'm a loyal employee. In some interviews, the interviewer looked at me like something was wrong with me for staying with a company for so long.

    After getting over the initial shock, I realized that these were not the type of companies that I would want to work for anyway...

    It is a scary prospect -- going both ways. There are a lot of employees who show no loyalty to the corporation or their co-workers...


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